Brandon Barrios studied Music Education in Florida at Stetson University, with his main instrument being the trombone. Post education, Brandon spent his days teaching the youth the art of musicianship. Barrios’ heart was tugging for a move and a change. Barrios decided that change was to open Music Go Round and this year it turns five.
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It all started in 2014 when Brandon discovered a music store for sale in Greeley, Colorado. “I showed my interest in purchasing, and it came off the market and wasn’t for sale anymore. Once I decided that that’s what I wanted to do, I looked online, and there was a Music Go Round in Cedar Rapids Iowa for sale. I had never heard of Music Go Round before. As a franchise, it had a similar business model to what I was interested in opening, but I didn’t want to move to Iowa. So I started it here.”
Music Go Round does not buy stock from a big warehouse mass-producing instruments; instead, they purchase instruments that need a new forever home, and locally. The instruments in the store are purchased directly from community members. The unique finds and treasures in the store are made up of the interest of the community.
Brandon has developed a forensic mind for instruments. He recognizes the priceless ones that have a history to share and the ones that have a high retail value. He loves the stories the instruments tell. Instruments have history and lives if well loved and used often. Music Go Round purchases an instrument outright from walk-ins and gives between 35 and 65 percent usually of that price based on age, condition, and demand and resell them. Buying used creates affordable instruments, and Brandon keeps the cost reasonable to make music accessible to everyone.
The staff is well-educated in music, and Brandon values their expertise, “They’re pretty much all multi-instrumentalists they’re well accomplished in their field. Some of them have gone to music school. It’s impressive,” Brandon says. “Many of them have taught lessons to other people. So when I say that they are professionals in their field and that they are experienced and knowledgeable about what we do here in the store it that is almost even an understatement.”
The best way Brandon wants to celebrate his anniversary is by giving back to the community. The BIG EVENT happens on Black Friday. “The past four years, on Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, we have our own type of Black Friday,” Barrios says. “We trade our customers discounts for their willingness to bring in non-perishable and canned food items, sleeping bags, winter clothes, socks, and gloves. The more they bring, the higher the discount. In past years we have given up to up to 25% off one item in the store for a customer that brings in stuff to give. The items get donated to the Murphy Center and homeless gear.”
If you go on the Music Go Round website, you see a clear picture of the instruments stocked and their services. What you don’t understand is that the walls of Brandon’s instrument shop has local musicians Cd’s along the top around the room. You don’t see that Brandon works with over five organizations to give back to the local community. What you don’t see is the unprecedented influx of instruments that are bought from the community and redistributed to the community. It is a one-of-a-kind music business.